Archive for November 30th, 2013

Vulpes Libris

Jacob's roomAnd with that title, ladies and gentlemen, I have exhausted my sporting terminology. I hope it’s clear what it means; I recently read my friend and fellow-fox’s blog post about Arnold Bennett and Virginia Woolf (Bennett 1: Woolf:…) and thought, since Virginia Woolf is a few decades too dead for her right of reply, I’d stand up for my homegirl.

Virginia Woolf’s novels are often seen as the reserve of the professional academic, not for the common reader (although Woolf, of course, termed herself the common reader – after Samuel Johnson’s concept – for a couple of essay collections).  I was quite pleased, then, to see that someone with the enviable academic credentials Kate has under her belt fail to enjoy reading Jacob’s Room, if only because it seems to me to be a sort of proof by contradiction.  If a learned type can dislike Woolf, then…

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There’s still time to listen to a 15-minute BBC broadcast on “Women” that includes a quote from A BBC womenRoom of One’s Own (1929) and commentary on its discussion of women’s economic status and their right to work and to learn.

Sadly, though, the broadcast repeats the myth that Woolf never attended university, one that Woolf herself perpetuated. Christine Kenyon Jones and Anna Snaith dispelled that myth in 2010 when, after discovering Woolf’s King’s College records, they published an article titled ‘Tilting at Universities’: Virginia Woolf at King’s College London’” in volume 16 of the Woolf Studies Annual.

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